Passive Pickup Height Adjustments Thread

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Thread: Passive Pickup Height Adjustments Thread

  1. #1

    Join Date: Nov 2014
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    Passive Pickup Height Adjustments Thread


    I have limited experience with passive pickups, I always played on actives, so I'd like to discuss this particular topic and if some of you are still experimenting with this.

    I know it's mainly a matter of taste but I want to hear your stories and your personal discoveries regarding passive pickups with metal tones/ultra high gain tones.

    I'm tweaking my Dimarzio Super3 right now, I gotta say, it's the perfect passive pickup for metal for me right now, sounds great in Basswood. However on Basswood guitars I always tend to turn down the Tone knob, otherwise they always sound too scratchy on palm mutes (high gain) and I like when palm muting sounds fatter without that over the top attack.

    I lowered the pickup to avoid the peaky bright sound and raised the pole pieces to add some volume attack and sustain on the 3 big strings, I turn down the tone to 7 and it sound great.

    Any of you tried to opposite, getting the pickup as close to the strings (not too close to avoid string pull) and screwing the pole pieces down inside the coils? reason tells me it would sound too fat and with no definition but I'm curious to see if anyone tried it.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Here's what I do with pickups: I put them in a guitar, I eyeball the height against my other guitars, then I play the shit out of them. Go and do likewise, gents.

  3. #3

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    Plug the guitar in, play it and turn the screws to taste, that's all there is to it. I have no set rule or even guide lines other than 'does it sound good?' And go by ear.
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  4. #4

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    there is a sweet spot, where the harsh scratchy overtones go away and all is rite. i usually spend about 10 seconds finding it, then play the thing.
    rule of thumb for me has always been, fret guitar at highest fret, then adjust height on bridge pickup to about a nickels thickness away from the strings. two nickels for the neck. just a starting point
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  5. #5

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    I fret the last fret and adjust bridge pu to 2mm and neck pu to 2.5mm. Seems to be great starting point always for me. And i actually leave them to that height.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    I adjust until it sounds like I'm bringing about the apocalypse, and then lower a millimetre from there. I'm not about to unleash the gods of war onto the world yet, I'll save that for when I'm bored.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Nov 2014
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    Interesting, mine seems to be further away from the strings (the tech installed it that way) but it totally killed the signal to noise ratio and killed the sustain. I just messed around with the pole piece (for the first time in my life) and it did fix the "stn" ratio.

    I'll try experimenting more to see what sort of differences I can get. Trust me, I love playing but contrarily to what a lot of people say, when you play loud, the slightest difference in setup can change the sound from decent to great.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    I'm not sure it would be much different aside from your strings hitting your pickup since relative to each other they would still be in the same position.

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